Here is what we’re calling the Bill-and-Ted-iverse in a nutshell. In the far off 27th Century, humanity exists in a utopian society organised around the most triumphant rock of Bill and Ted and their band Wyld Stallyns.
How they united the world with their music isn’t entirely clear but they did and everyone lives in blissful harmony. However, at the start of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) it becomes clear that the hallowed duo’s status as saviours of Mankind is in jeopardy for the sake of one soon-to-be-flunked history report. And so, Rufus (played by stand-up legend, George Carlin) is sent back in time to give high-schoolers Bill and Ted a nudge in the right direction. What follows is a hilarious, feel-good adventure that sees a pair of metal-loving but sweetly endearing San Dimas dimwits grappling with time travel while simultaneously getting their heads around a world-changing legacy they’ve yet to create.
The follow up, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991) was originally going to be called Bill and Ted Go to Hell. And it’s no metaphor. Early doors, it sees the pair killed by evil robot doubles created by 27th Century bad guy De Nomolos (Joss Ackland having a great time hamming it up).
However, Bill and Ted aren’t about to take being dead lying down. They fight back from the afterlife and, en route to reclaiming their future greatness, they visit both heaven and hell – “we got totally lied to by our album covers, man” – recruiting the Grim Reaper (the hilarious William Sadler) and an extraterrestrial genius called ‘Station’ along the way.
Fast forward 29 years from the events of Bogus Journey and as Bill and Ted Face the Music begins, we discover the two friends all grown up but scarcely any closer to fulfilling their destiny as axe-shredding architects of global peace. But when Rufus’s daughter arrives from the future, it becomes clear the clock has finally run out for our heroes to write the song that’ll unite mankind. But who cares about deadlines when you’ve got a phone box time machine?
Bill and Ted Face the Music is released on 16 September, but you can book your tickets now by clicking on this most resplendent link.
Keanu Reeves plays Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan and Alex Winter plays Bill S. Preston, Esq.
The two actors met on their way to the audition for Excellent Adventure, hit it off immediately, and their natural chemistry and subsequent lifelong friendship is what gives the Bill and Ted films their unmistakable heart.
Simply put, Bill and Ted wouldn’t be Bill and Ted without Alex and Keanu. But, they aren’t the only original cast members returning to Face the Music.
William Sadler plays the Grim Reaper. It seems that after enjoying the limelight with Bill and Ted at the end of Bogus Journey, the Grim Reaper fell out with his friends.
Hal Landon Jr. plays Captain Jonathan Logan, Ted’s eternally disapproving cop dad.
Amy Stoch plays Missy. Missy was Bill’s stepmother in Excellent Adventure, Ted’s stepmother in Bogus Journey and now, in Face the Music, she’s remarried to… Deacon, Ted’s younger brother!
Kristen Schaal plays Kelly. In Bill & Ted Face the Music, Kelly is Rufus’s daughter. Sadly, George Carlin passed away in 2008 so, as a tribute to him, Kelly is named after his actual daughter (who also cameos in the film).
Samara Weaving plays Theadora ‘Thea’ Preston, Bill and Joanna’s teenage daughter.
Brigette Lundy-Paine plays Wilhelmina ‘Billie’ Logan, Ted and Elizabeth’s teenage daughter, and Thea’s best friend.
Anthony Carrigan plays Dennis Caleb McCoy, a time-travelling robot sent to kill Bill and Ted.
As you’d expect from a film where music has the power to heal the world and bring harmony, the Bill and Ted Face the Music soundtrack album is a cut above your usual jukebox grab bag. Here’s what to listen out for:
Wyld Stallyns’ metal roots can be found alive and thrashing in Rufus Lives by Mastodon, The Death of Us by Lamb of God, and Breaker by FIDLAR.
Meanwhile, if you’re after the kind of anthemic rock to heal nations, look no further than Weezer’s The Beginning of the End (Wyld Stallyns Edit), and the title track, Face the Music, credited to Wyld Stallyns, Animals As Leaders and Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah. Listen closely and you may well hear fictional contributions by Mozart, Louis Armstrong, Jimi Hendrix and the legendary, ancient Chinese musician, Ling Lun.
As for Wyld Stallyn’s deeply experimental That Which Binds Us Through Time: The Chemical, Physical and Biological Nature of Love; An Exploration of the Meaning of Meaning, Part 1 – love it or hate it, we highly doubt you’ll forget it in a hurry.
This isn't the head-banging 1989, nor the utopian 27th century. It's 2020, and right now Bill and Ted Face the Music is the feel-good film we’ve all been waiting for.
But don't just take our word for it, take the words of the Wild Stallyns themselves - Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter.
The stakes are higher than ever for the time-traveling exploits of William "Bill" S. Preston Esq. and Theodore "Ted" Logan.
Yet to fulfill their rock and roll destiny, the now middle aged best friends set out on a new adventure when a visitor from the future warns them that only their song can save life as we know it...